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Anurag Kashyap Steps Down From The Board Of MAMI

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Anurag Kashyap At The Premiere Of  Ridley Scott's All The Money In The World

Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap on Tuesday stepped down from his duties as a board member of the Mumbai Association of Moving Images (MAMI) Film Festival. Kashyap’s production house Phantom Films was recently dissolved after Vikas Bahl, a founding partner, was accused of sexual assault, and the director was alleged to be complicit in the matter after he failed to take action for over two years.

Kashyap, through a tweet, said that he was stepping back from his duties as a board member of the festival “until the shadow of doubt” that loomed over his “alleged complicitness in silence” was cleared. The publication of an article in Huffpost amidst of the ongoing #MeToo campaign in the country had brought to light the plight of a woman who claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Vikas Bahl during a party celebrating the completion of Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet in Goa in May 2015.

The woman claimed that though Kashyap was apprised of the incident in October, the director failed to take necessary actions following which she was subjected to repeated harassment by Bahl which eventually forced her to quit her job. Kashyap, through a statement, said that his lawyers had advised him that Bahl, being a founding partner, could not be completely removed from the company and he hence had to resort to other measures like keeping Bahl away from the premises and stripping him off his signatory powers.

Vikramaditya Motwane and Madhu Mantena – the other two founding partners at Phantom Films have also been accused of staying silent on the issue. Apart from the statements issued by Motwane and Kashyap, the only public action initiated by the partners with regard to the incident has been the dissolution of the company, and that too after the publication of the article.

Meanwhile, Kashyap issued a series of tweets where he vehemently denied being complicit in the issue, urged people to look past the headlines and talked about the things that the incident taught him.

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